Afterlife

She would stoop forward
Bent nearly double
On the pillow
And listen…

Children still groggy
Going to school
Their keds worn feet
Making a rhythm

Women would clatter buckets
Or utensils
Men rush from markets
With leaves of spinach or cabbage
Trailing
She could mark time then…

With closed eyes
The darkness adding to her vision
That little girl…
Fond of ‘gur’ and everything sweet
On a doctor’s bicycle
Rumbling on the village roads
The Father
To the sacred fire
Marriage vows
And the metropolis…

Summer gone too soon
Drifting to slumber
On the heavy bronze ware
Dreaming of unknown magic
In those thick dust-coated texts
Pens lying in wait
Of creating wonder
The ink spilling
To blur all…

Engulfing winter
Despite all warmth
Of bed…and home
The vernacular newspaper
Now within reach…
A Silhouette !
Then it must be dusk
Sundown soon…
Shadow ? Illusion ?
Or her younger self
A magnificent halo
In blinding splendor
Her blood
Her very own

All around
Lay books and volumes
Words and letters
Of those long forgotten dreams
Awakened
Coming to life…

The Phoenix
Had risen
From its very ashes
As in the legend…

Dr. Supatra Sen, currently Associate Professor in a reputed Kolkata college is a veteran academician, teaching and researching in the fields of Botany and Environment. Her over hundred twenty publications as international books, papers and reviews are chiefly in her professional subject. She has edited several UGC funded ISBN volumes and is also the founder and Chief Editor of an ISSN peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary academic journal ‘Harvest’ www.harvest.net since 2016. Her tryst with poetry writing began in 2020 during the global pandemic and in October 2021 her poetry anthology ‘My Autumn Sonata’ was published. Read other articles by Supatra.